From raw materials to validated system: the construction of a genomic library and microarray to interpret systemic perturbations in Northern bobwhite

Arun Rawat, University of Southern Mississippi
Mohamed O. Elasri, University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract

Rawat A, Gust KA, Deng Y, Garcia-Reyero N, Quinn MJ Jr, Johnson MS, Indest KJ, Elasri MO, Perkins EJ. From raw materials to validated system: the construction of a genomic library and microarray to interpret systemic perturbations in Northern bobwhite. Physiol Genomics 42: 219-235, 2010. First published April 6, 2010; doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00022.2010.-The limited availability of genomic tools and data for nonmodel species impedes computational and systems biology approaches in nonmodel organisms. Here we describe the development, functional annotation, and utilization of genomic tools for the avian wildlife species Northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) to determine the molecular impacts of exposure to 2,6-dinitrotoluene (2,6-DNT), a field contaminant of military concern. Massively parallel pyrosequencing of a normalized multitissue library of Northern bobwhite cDNAs yielded 71,384 unique transcripts that were annotated with gene ontology (GO), pathway information, and protein domain analysis. Comparative genome analyses with model organisms revealed functional homologies in 8,825 unique Northern bobwhite genes that are orthologous to 48% of Gallus gallus protein-coding genes. Pathway analysis and GO enrichment of genes differentially expressed in livers of birds exposed for 60 days (d) to 10 and 60 mg/kg/d 2,6-DNT revealed several impacts validated by RT-qPCR including: prostaglandin pathway-mediated inflammation, increased expression of a heme synthesis pathway in response to anemia, and a shift in energy metabolism toward protein catabolism via inhibition of control points for glucose and lipid metabolic pathways, PCK1 and PPARGC1, respectively. This research effort provides the first comprehensive annotated gene library for Northern bobwhite. Transcript expression analysis provided insights into the metabolic perturbations underlying several observed toxicological phenotypes in a 2,6-DNT exposure case study. Furthermore, the systemic impact of dinitrotoluenes on liver function appears conserved across species as PPAR signaling is similarly affected in fathead minnow liver tissue after exposure to 2,4-DNT.